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Lab of Misfits


New experiments

We are currently running the following series of experiments, with some new additions this month. Members of the public can take part in any of these experiments from 1–4pm Tuesdays to Thursdays (though the lab will be closed from 27th February to 9th March), as well as during the Lates events.

Power and brightness
Does feeling powerful affect your vision? Are you more susceptible to optical illusions when you're under someone else's control? The link between how powerful we feel and our visual system doesn't seem an obvious one, but there is evidence to suggest that we process visual information differently. We have therefore designed an experiment to investigate the phenomenon. (Ongoing, all ages)

As part of our Lates programme, Lab of Misfits has been investigating the links between attractiveness and generosity. However, our Lates experiments cannot answer all of the questions we want to ask. So, using the data sets from our Lates, we have devised new and modified questions about attractiveness to complement the mass-participation research. (Ongoing, adults)


How does colour affect our perception of time?

This experiment is adapted from one that we ran in the lab for BBC2's Horizon: Do you see what I see? In it we are researching whether staring at a red or blue screen can warp people's perception of the passing of time. (Ongoing, all ages)


How sharp is cold?

An ongoing theme at Lab of Misfits is to look at associations between our senses. Do touch, sound and sight interact with each other, even in a controlled environment? Do words have shapes, and do silent objects have sounds? These may seem like silly questions, but they help us tounderstand perception at a fundamental level. (Ongoing, all ages)


Does what you see change how you see?

This experiment started in a village in Namibia. Researchers noticed that people saw certain things differently to people that lived in cities. So, we decided to test this idea with adults and children alike. Lab of Misfits is hosting the London version of the test, which is being run simultaneously in two other locations. (Ongoing, all ages)


Playing with Plasticine

How does sight affect our sense of touch, our creativity and our happiness? We ask participants to make something out of a piece of plasticine. Some people do the experiment with their eyes open, while others are blindfolded and given relaxing music to listen to. Does the ability to see and hear what's around you affect what you make? Drop by to take part in PhD student Alessandra Milella's unique and fun test. (Ongoing, all ages)